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It costs to be cyber attack prone. It pays to be Zero Trust...

Written on: Jul 26, 2022 11:40:21 AM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed


[COOLSPIRiT, Cyber Security]

Our increasingly interconnected digital world is quite a double-edged sword for organisations. On the one hand, organisations can benefit from streamlined processes, optimised workflow, deeper insights, and seamless collaboration. On the other hand, the expanding web of devices, applications, and systems present cybercriminals with a larger attack surface to exploit and infiltrate. 

And exploit they do, with Hiscox estimating that there are 65,000 attempts to hack small to medium-sized businesses in the UK, every day. Alarmingly, a survey conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)1 revealed that only 16% of UK respondents feel that their organisation is prepared to deal with a breach. The same poll found that 75% of organisations struck by a cyberattack were forced to pay the ransom, which amounted to a hefty average of £371,000. 

To limit the impact of cyber attacks, many organisations are turning to Zero Trust architectures, with 91% of UK respondents stating that Zero Trust lies within their organisation’s top 3 cybersecurity priorities, comprising 38% of their overall security budget. 

What is Zero Trust?

The traditional approach to security sees trust established once a user is able to verify their identity. However, bad actors can and as we unfortunately know, frequently do, gain access to login credentials that then grant them free reign within the castle walls. It's not enough just to ask once at the gate.

Enter Zero Trust. As the name implies, Zero Trust operates on the assumption that every user is compromised. To keep bad actors out, micro-perimeters are set around sensitive data assets and  granular identity-based validation policies are enforced at every point of access - whether in a public cloud, a hybrid environment, a container, or an on-premises network architecture. 

The Core Principles of the Zero Trust Model

  • Terminate every connection: this allows an inline proxy architecture to inspect all traffic in real-time before it reaches its destination. As such, any malicious files are detected and denied entry before it is too late.
  • Protect data using granular context-based policies: Access requests are examined based on contextual factors including user identity, device, location and type of data being requested. 
  • Reduce the attack surface, reduce the risk: Users can only ever connect directly to the apps and resources they require at any one time, never to networks. This direct user-to-app and app-to-app communication eliminate lateral movement so compromised devices cannot infect other resources.
  • Continuous verification: privileged access is continuously challenged all the time, for every resource that is requested access to. 

Real-World Impact of Zero Trust

The ESG study grouped all respondents into one of three categories according to how they scored on their degree of Zero Trust adoption. Those that had fully implemented the Zero Trust approach were labelled 'Pioneers'. The findings of the ESG report indicate that Pioneers experienced benefits in several key areas, such as:

  • Comprehensive visibility into traffic across their environment and across all types of application architectures.
  • Lower annual downtime costs when an attack strikes thanks to a 68% faster mean time to recover and decreased likelihood of experiencing a critical outage
  • Accelerated digital transformation as increased confidence in the security of cloud-based applications results in organisations moving 14 production applications to the cloud over the next year, freeing up an average of 39 hours per week. 
  • Increased confidence in preventing cyber disasters with organisations reporting that they were more than twice as likely to feel prepared to handle a cyberattack, having already prevented 5 cyber disasters annually. 

How can COOLSPIRiT help you to become a Zero Trust Pioneer?

We pride ourselves on providing innovative cyber solutions from our industry-leading partners, striving to ensure they comprehensively meet your organisation's requirements, every time. 

If you would like to learn more on how we can help you secure your digital world with proven core principles, contact our expert team today on 01246 454 222 or hello@coolspirit.co.uk


1. ESG, John Grady, Zero Trust Impact Report: United Kingdom Key Findings: June 2022


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